All Downs babies have different degrees or severity of the
disorder, so some babies may find it more difficult to breastfeed than
As your baby gets stronger, breastfeeding will just get
easier and easier. All babies and mothers need some time to get accustomed
Down Syndrome Breastfeeding ~ Advantages
Advantages of breastfeeding a Down Syndrome baby
Improved tongue and mouth coordination, which will result in less speech problems.
Protection from bowl problems and infections. Infants with Down syndrome benefit tremendously from this, as they are at higher risk of developing respiratory tract infections, bowel problems and other infections.
Is breastfeeding a Down syndrome baby more difficult?
A baby with down syndrome has a lower muscle tone and this
makes it more difficult for him/her to stay latched on. That is why it’s so
important that the baby breastfeeds, as breastfeeding will help improve
muscle tone in the baby’s face.
Babies with Down syndrome often have a very flat tongue, which makes it difficult to swallow milk.
Breastfeeding does usually take longer when breastfeeding a Down syndrome baby, mostly due to weaker muscle tone.
Provide extra head and jaw support at the breast, so that the baby doesn’t tire out from trying to keep his/her head in position.
Before breastfeeding the baby, the mother can
or pump a little milk, just until the milk starts to flow. This is done
because Down's syndrome infants sometimes don’t suck hard enough, to get
the milk flowing.
A mother with a Down's syndrome infant, will find it easier to breastfeed her baby in a breastfeeding sling. This provides the baby with full access to the
breast, most of the time. Read more about the benefits of kangaroo care and wearing your baby.